Wed, May


The Management staff of the Trinidad and Tobago National Under 20 team, on behalf of the TTFF, wishes to address the statements made by ex-National Team captain and former national team assistant coach Clayton Morris in Wednesday’s Guardian in reference to the team’s handling of players Trent Lougheed, Jevon Morris and Nicholas Walker. The trio did not make the final cut of 22 players to travel to Cyprus and Egypt for the FIFA Under 20 World Championship after being in the squad for previous training camps in England and Turkey.

Head Coach Zoran Vranes in the first instance requested three extra players travel out of Port of Spain last month and his wish was granted by the TTFF. But he later spoke of the difficult task of having to cut players at this stage of the preparations.

“It’s always one of the hardest things that a coach has to do. No coach wants to cut players but only a certain number of players can make up a team and travel for a tournament. They all worked hard towards that and it is unfortunate that they did not make the final team. We will ensure that these players are monitored and considered for future national teams and matches,” Vranes said.

After relaying to the players that they would not be in the squad of twenty two, the management staff decided that assistant coach Anton Corneal was sent ahead with three players to London ahead of their return flight to Port of Spain. They were all checked in at the Hilton Hotel for their overnight stay and each player was given a per diem of USD100, an addition to their allowance for the previous days of the overseas camp.

All players were also allowed to maintain possession of  their kit bags, training uniforms , track and lounge suits as well  as their casual wear, contrary to claims made by Morris who is the uncle of Jevon Morris

Corneal said it was disappointing that such statements be made in the media after he ensured the players were well taken care of prior to their return to Trinidad.

“It was disappointing but the good thing about it is that these players have been part of a maturing process so where as in the past we may have had players crying for the chance to stay on with national teams, these three handled it well even though there was the obvious case of disappointment. We were all disappointed that they had to leave us,” Corneal said.